Sir David Amess, a Conservative Member of Parliament in the U.K., was stabbed multiple times on Friday morning during a meeting with constituents in southeast England. The suspect, a 25-year-old man, was arrested after the murder at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea. A knife was found at the scene.

Essex Police said in a statement: “We were called to an address in Eastwood Road North shortly after 12.05pm today. We attended and found a man injured. He was treated by emergency services but, sadly, died at the scene.”

Photographs taken at the scene show emergency response vehicles and a cordoned-off area around the Church. 

“A 25 year-old man was quickly arrested after officers arrived at the scene on suspicion of murder and a knife was recovered,” the police added. The suspect “is currently in custody.”

Counter-terrorism police are involved in what is the earliest stage of an investigation.

“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident,” the police continued.

Former prime minister Sir John Major said: “This is truly heartbreaking news of a good and decent man.” Photo credit: UK Parliament

“Rest In Peace Sir David,” the education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, wrote on Twitter.

Fellow Tory MP Sir Roger Gale told Sky News: “I’ve known him and loved him as a member of parliament and as a colleague ever since.” He went on to describe David Amess as a “devout and devoted man” and “the kindest of people”

Carrie Johnson, the wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tweeted: “Absolutely devastating news about Sir David Amess. He was hugely kind and good. An enormous animal lover and a true gent. This is so completely unjust. Thoughts are with his wife and their children.”

Theresa May and John Major both released statements on David Amess’ death.

May tweeted: “Heartbreaking to hear of the death of Sir David Amess. A decent man and respected Parliamentarian, killed in his own community while carrying out his public duties. A tragic day for our democracy. My thoughts and prayers are with David’s family.”

Sir David Amess was known to be a big proponent of Brexit. Photo credit:

Former prime minister Sir John Major said: “This is truly heartbreaking news of a good and decent man who – for over 30 years – was a dedicated public servant. My heart goes out to his family.”

There have been other similar attacks. In 2016, Jo Cox, a Labour lawmaker, was killed when a right-wing extremist targeted her outside a meeting with constituents. Six years before that, Stephen Timms, also of Labour, was stabbed.

Jo Cox, the victim of the stabbing in 2016, was attacked by an unemployed gardener, Thomas Mair, who was later sentenced to life in prison.

On Friday, Jo Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, reacted to the news of the attack on David Amess saying simply that there are no excuses or justifications for such behavior. “It is as cowardly as it gets.”

The Cox attack was motivated in part by the bitter division over Brexit. This one might have a similar motivation, given Amess’ prominence in that debate.

Amess was known as an outspoken Euroskeptic and an advocate of Brexit. He was also known as an advocate of animal welfare, supporting a ban on fox hunting and patronizing an animal welfare foundation.

Early in his long parliamentary career, which started in 1983, Amess sponsored the Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act, providing that no horse, mule, or ass may be tethered in such a manner as to cause it unnecessary suffering.  

David Amess, 69, had been scheduled to hold a meeting with voters at the Belfairs Methodist Church in a district of Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, where the attack occurred.

Tributes are pouring in from public officials throughout the U.K.